FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- The Daily Voice sent out a questionnaire to all candidates seeking office in this year's election.
The following are the responses of Tony Hwang, the Republican candidate for the State Senate seat for District 28 (Easton, Fairfield, Newtown, Weston and Westport). He is facing Democratic candidate Kim Fawcett.
Name: Tony Hwang
Affiliations: Republican, Independent
Past offices: State Representative 134th District (Fairfield & Trumbull), 2008-present; Fairfield Representative Town Meeting, District 2, 2005-08
Current Race: 28th Senate District
If elected, what would you do to improve roads and trains in Fairfield County?
As your state Senator, I will lead the effort to protect our transportation dollars by passing a constitutional amendment that prohibits the legislature from taking money from the Special Transportation Fund to balance the state budget. Those funds must be used to improve our infrastructure, beginning right here in Fairfield County, which is the economic engine that fuels this great state. At the same time, I will continue to work with commuter groups, legislators and our governor to hold Metro-North accountable, and ensure that steps being taken to improve safety and service are on the fast track.
While investment must be done strategically and over time so as not to place an even greater tax burden on residents and business owners, we must act with a sense of urgency given transportation’s significance to our economy and way of life.
What is your position on state spending and the state budget?
Connecticut residents and business owners shoulder some of the highest tax burdens in the country. They can’t take any more, and, if we are responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars, they won’t have to.
First and foremost, we need to hold the line on state spending, and in smart and responsible ways, reduce spending without sacrificing the quality of critical services the state provides. Also, since 11 cents of every budgetary dollar goes to interest charges, we must put an end to excessive borrowing. This is especially important given the fact that Connecticut is estimated to be facing a $1 billion deficit in 2015.
Importantly, holding the line on state spending will send a strong message that Connecticut is serious about creating a more business friendly environment.
The bottom line is common sense governing means our state government must do what families are doing everyday – making difficult decisions and living within our means.
What is another top issue or priority in your town or district that you would address in office?
We need to make our towns more affordable. State and local government’s over-reliance on property taxes as a source of revenue is unsustainable and a major barrier to our economic growth and a healthy age distribution in our communities.
Too many seniors say they can no longer afford to stay in their home because the taxes are too high, and so many young adults want to put down roots in their hometown but cannot because it’s too expensive. Affordability is an issue that impacts everyone.
As your state Senator, I will work with local leaders and all interested parties to bring about much-needed tax relief.
This also brings us back to the issue of state spending; the people of Connecticut cannot afford more taxes. It’s incumbent upon us as elected leaders to reflect the will of the people, and what I’ve heard over and over again is enough is enough.
Why should people vote for you?
I think the most important thing is that people vote for the candidate who they feel will best represent them — the candidate who they trust and who embodies the values they believe our elected leaders should uphold. I’d like to think I am that person.
Throughout my near decade of public service, and during this campaign for state Senate, I have conducted myself with character and integrity, and remained focused on working in a bipartisan manner to address the critical issues facing our great state. I’d like to think I have earned the public’s trust, and that they see in me a leader and community advocate with a record of accomplishments and caring outreach.
While we have much to be proud of, there is still a lot of work ahead of us. As your state Senator, I will work tirelessly on your behalf and always put public service above politics.
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